About your sunscreen …

It is outdoor and beach time, again, and sunscreen season, too. While, I do not “sunbathe” anymore like when I was in my 20’s, I do stay exposed to the Sun’s rays doing outdoor activities. At the start of the season I get my sun gear out of the closet: wide brimmed hats, sun protective clothing, my beach umbrella and prescription sunglasses. I do use sunscreen as well, because without it in the brutal Southern Sun, I’d get pretty crispy quick.

I thought I knew how to use sunscreen, but, I came across this and there were a few things I didn’t know.

You’ve been using the same bottle for the past three summers.

When it comes to sunscreen, expiration dates really do matter. The active ingredients in sunscreen can deteriorate over time, Garner says, which means the protection won’t be as effective. What’s more, an open bottle is more likely to become contaminated with germs over time, as the preservatives meant to prevent that can also lose their efficacy.

I guess I need to check the dates on the collection of bottles I have. I am sure a few need to get tossed out.

You count on the SPF in your makeup to do the trick.

A two-in-one foundation/sunscreen certainly seems handy, but that doesn’t mean it works. Part of the problem is quantity: a dab of foundation isn’t the same as the amount of sunscreen you’d slather on your face.

I don’t wear makeup that often, but, this is good to know and pass along to others.

You count on waterproof sunscreen when you’re swimming.

Turns out, there isn’t such a thing as “waterproof” sunscreen. In fact, a relatively recent iteration of FDA rules no longer even allows the word to be used on sunscreen bottles (along with “sweat-proof” or “sunblock”). Instead, based on testing, they can claim to be “water resistant” for either 40 or 80 minutes. After that? Reapply, reapply, reapply. “I can’t tell you how many patients come in and say, ‘But I put my sunscreen on,'” Garner says. “[But] did you put it back on?”

I did know, this, but, for many this is not known. This especially important for the kids.

If you are heading out this summer, do check out the tips on sunscreen. Nothing is more of a recreational or vacation downer than a sunburn.